Give Us Kathy Griffin Back

On New Year’s Eve, at least.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 29: Kathy Griffin is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on November 29, 2021 in ...
RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Posting things online is not something I would recommend to anyone. It rarely leads to anything good. In 2017, for example, it led to the dissolution of Kathy Griffin’s career and the ruining of New Year’s Eve (for me).

For those unaware, Kathy Griffin used to host CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage. She did so with aplomb, and with CNN anchor and former friend Anderson Cooper. Of all the New Year’s Eve countdown fare, it was by far the most enjoyable, and the one I tuned into each year with pleasure when I was not dragged out to a New Year’s Eve party. Kathy would make off-color jokes, Anderson would giggle demurely, and we viewers would be ushered as pleasantly as possible into another year of life’s misery.

This changed in 2017. That year, Kathy Griffin posted to Twitter a video of herself holding what looked to be the decapitated head of President Donald Trump. It was reminiscent of the sort of videos ISIS released in the years prior of them holding the heads of murdered captives — indeed a poor choice — and the backlash was swift and all-encompassing. She apologized soon after tweeting the video, but it was too late. She lost endorsement deals, her tours were canceled. Donald Trump said the photo was upsetting to his son Barron, which was accepted as true by many people who knew better than to trust the idea that Donald Trump would have been aware of Barron’s emotions. Finally, after Donald Trump himself demanded it, Griffin was fired from CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast.

Democrats called for Kathy Griffin to be held accountable as loudly as republicans did. Anderson Cooper, even, denounced Griffin and the photo, tweeting: “I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.” And of course I will despise him for his cowardice for the rest of my life. But this was to be expected.

Democrats are eager to seem equitable in ways the other side is not. Democrats would have likely punished their own for holding an insurrection, for example. This is a desire I understand but also one that is plainly not working and has not been for some time. The effects of this are myriad and in equal parts devastating and infuriating, and the effect we’re focusing on here today is perhaps less important than the ones that immediately spring to mind, but that makes it no less worth mentioning. That effect is: New Year’s Eve was taken away from Kathy Griffin unfairly.

And it’s time to return it.

Right now Kathy Griffin is primed for a comeback. She recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where she spoke about her battle with stage one lung cancer; half of one of her lungs was removed, but she is now on the mend. And in additional good news she noted that she was “very slowly getting uncancelled,” and in fact her Kimmel appearance was to promote season five of HBO’s Search Party, of which she is a cast member. At the end of the interview, Kimmel deemed her “uncancelled.”

Now she just needs somebody to give her a New Year’s Eve telecast.

Now, I do have some demands. I do not want this to be on a streaming-only channel. I do not want it to be on an “app.” I don’t want to have to download anything additional on my Roku to watch it. I want it to be on a normal channel. The channels that exist will have to figure this out for themselves, but I feel like TBS could probably use something. Or maybe PBS? It also has to be filmed live from Times Square. We aren’t doing this from like … a fucking … room somewhere. This isn’t a joke. Kathy Griffin is going to be freezing cold on a platform in Times Square on New Year’s Eve and we’re all going to enjoy it. Omicron be damned.

Now, for a cohost. All you need is a prudish gay man to giggle demurely while Kathy makes her tasteless jokes. I don’t think it would necessarily be appropriate of me as a straight woman to make a list of suggested prudish gay men, and I don’t want to get this canceled again before it even begins, but I think we can all imagine some in the safe confines of our own minds. Actually — why not Ronan Farrow? Is he available? If he doesn’t giggle, I’m sure he could come up with something. Maybe he could hide his face in his hands when Kathy said something rude. That would be good enough for me.

Listen, the time has come. We’ve all been punished enough. Let us stay home on New Year’s Eve with Kathy Griffin again.